Palestinian Furor Grows Over Abbas’ Alleged Close Security Coordination With Israel
The Israeli army has conducted frequent raids into Area ‘A,’ over which the PA maintains full security and administrative control
Palestinians are growing increasingly upset with what they claim is unusually tight coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel during a series of raids by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) inside West Bank cities and villages.
Amid an uptick in violence, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is facing a crescendo of criticism following a string of IDF incursions into Area “A.” Under the Oslo Accords signed with Israel, the PA maintains full security and administrative control over these areas. Ramallah, the Palestinian administrative capital, has also been targeted in the Israeli raids.
The IDF used to refrain from entering into Area A but changed its policy during a 2002 ground invasion of Gaza dubbed “Operation Defensive Shield.” Since then, it regularly conducts raids there, mainly at night, to arrest suspected militants.
A recent spate of skirmishes in the West Bank resulted in the deaths of two Israeli soldiers and a baby who died days after being delivered prematurely when its mother was wounded in a drive-by shooting.
In response, the IDF stormed into several West Bank cities eventually locating and killing those suspected of carrying out the attacks. The raids included a rare daytime foray into Ramallah, where troops confiscated security cameras at the official Palestinian news site, Wafa.
Khader, a Palestinian from Hebron who did not want to reveal his last name, told The Media Line that the PA is “handing over” Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israelis as part of its security coordination with Israel.
“The Palestinian government is positioning itself as a guardian angel for Israel at the expense of its people’s rights, dignity and freedom. The PA is making it easy for the occupation terrorist [Israeli] army to arrest our fighters, who resist the illegal presence of Israeli settlers in the West Bank,” Khader stated.
Hamas – the armed Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip – is taking advantage of the situation in the West Bank by urging Palestinians to carry out more attacks against Israelis, he explained.
“Hamas appears therefore to be leading the resistance movement. But if it really cares about the best interests of Palestinians, it would achieve reconciliation and end the division,” Khader said, referring to the factional split between Fatah and Hamas.
Hani al-Masri, a Palestinian political analyst, clarified to The Media Line that since the Second Intifada and Operation Defensive Shield, the Israeli “occupation forces” have raided West Bank Palestinian cities whenever and wherever they wish. “They arrest Palestinians from any city or village, demolish houses, close institutions and set up checkpoints [at will].”
While some Palestinians consider it normal for Israeli soldiers to hotly pursue suspects in these Palestinian-controlled areas, the level of cooperation between the PA and the IDF is a cause for concern.
“Every time the occupation forces penetrate PA-controlled zones, the Palestinian police and security services disappear until the IDF’s work is done,” al-Masri continued. “What is new about the recent raids is the fact that occupation forces stayed longer inside the cities of Ramallah and Al-Bireh.”
In response to the recent raids, Abbas has threatened to review all security arrangements with Israel. Palestinian leaders have also voiced concern about Israeli settlers who have been accused of hanging posters near the West Bank of city Nablus calling for the assassinations of Abbas and Fatah vice-president Mahmoud al-Aloul.
Ziad Abu Ziad, Fatah’s Foreign Media spokesperson, accused the Israeli government and its security forces of breaking all rules and agreements by “invading the Palestinian cities, killing and arresting innocent people and protecting extremist settlers.”
Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official, told The Media Line that Israel “simply does not respect agreements and international laws,” adding that the United States encourages Israeli aggression.
“America is killing the two-state solution and has done great damage by ending the status of Palestinian refugees and taking Jerusalem off the table,” referring to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The PA is facing Israel and the U.S. at the same time while Arab countries stand by,” Shaath added.
“What Palestinians need to do now is go after Israel in international forums and achieve the political reconciliation among its factions. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers are threatening Abbas. This indicates their criminal mentality, but the Palestinians must withstand these threats,” Shaath concluded.